COVID-19: Keeping you safe at Icon Cancer Centre

COVID-19 safety commitment

As we continue to face the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) global pandemic, we want to reassure you that we are undertaking the most stringent hygiene practices and screening measures to ensure your safety within each and every one of our centres at Icon. We also need to protect the health of our staff so that they can remain with you during your treatment journey.

First and foremost, we must screen for anyone who might be infected before they arrive at an Icon centre. As an Icon patient, you will have been sent a text message asking you to contact us if you:

  1. have travelled in the last 14 days
  2. have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  3. have a fever, sore throat, shortness of breath or a cough
  4. if you are living with someone in self-isolation

Because of this first line screening measure, we are fielding many calls from patients who are generally being cautious and wanting to do the right thing to keep themselves, other patients and our staff safe. We review this screening measure every day in line with the changes in government advice.

Within Icon centres, our staff are vigilant for anyone displaying symptoms. You may be provided with a mask and assessed in one of our consulting rooms if you display symptoms or if anyone accompanying you does. We have several additional precautions in place, such as:

  • Limiting our visitors so that we can provide more space in our waiting area
  • Removed frequently handled magazines and other items from the waiting area
  • Fast tracking patients in waiting areas to ensure that close contact periods (see below) with individuals other than your treating staff are not exceeded
  • Providing additional hand sanitising stations for everyone to use. Hand sanitiser has been identified as the best alternative to handwashing. You should use our hand sanitiser when you arrive, when you leave and before you eat anything.

A team of our medical staff are continuously reviewing our safety precautions in line with government advice and community infection numbers.

Frequently asked questions for patients

Should I do anything differently?

Unless advised otherwise by your doctor, please continue to attend treatment as normal and practice good personal hygiene when travelling to and from your appointments.

Should I be wearing a mask?

Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus disease from spreading it to others. If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask. Regularly washing your hands and practising strict personal hygiene is the best way to reduce your risk of exposure.

What can I do to reduce my risk of contracting coronavirus?

Practicing strict personal hygiene and social distancing are some of the best ways that you can reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Here are some ways that you and those around you can keep you safe:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Dry your hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your arm, use a tissue, bin the tissue, wash your hands
  • Stay 1.5 metres away from others and avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing others.
  • Avoid crowds and gatherings where it’s difficult to maintain distance from others for example family celebrations or public places
  • Reduce your contact with others to fifteen minutes of close ‘face to face contact, or less than two hours in the same room.
  • Limit all visitors during this time and avoid those that are unwell in any way.
  • If someone in your house is unwell they should use a different bedroom and bathroom if possible.
  • Consider telehealth consultations for your medical appointments. Many care providers including Icon can arrange for your consultations to be held over video call or Skype. Talk to your doctor for more information.
Should I avoid public transport and large gatherings of people?

If possible, patients receiving treatment for cancer should not travel using public transport. Talk to your care team about available transport to treatment options. Visiting crowded places can increase your risk of COVID-19, so limiting close interactions is encouraged

What do I do if I think I may have COVID-19 and have a fever or flu-like symptoms?

If you’re undergoing treatment for cancer, it is important to always contact the centre immediately or go to the nearest emergency room if you develop a fever. Many of the known symptoms of COVID-19 can be confused with general symptoms and side-effects experienced by cancer patients. We advise you to closely monitor your health, looking out for new or worsening symptoms, and call your centre if you are feeling unwell. For further information and advice on COVID-19, the Coronavirus Health Information Line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 020 080.

What will happen if I contract COVID-19 during my treatment?

At Icon, we manage many conditions with a wide variety of treatments. It is not uncommon for our patients to develop seasonal flu and other infections during active treatment cancer care and we are well prepared to manage your safety and the safety of our staff if you do develop COVID-19. At this point in time you may need a temporary break from treatment, treatment after hours or in a dedicated protected treatment area, or treatment at another site. Your doctors will carefully consider what is the best approach in your circumstance.

We want to reassure our patients and families that Icon Cancer Centre is following all government direction and advice, and continuously reviewing our screening and hygiene practices to keep you as safe as possible while in our centre. Please continue to follow our hand hygiene instructions and the advice of your treatment team. Most importantly, do not attend our centres with cold or flu like symptoms. Phone ahead for advice.